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Snow...and a record low

Snow in southern Alberta a few days before June? Whatever. After all, given what Jamie Kureluk accomplished two days prior, Hades had already frozen over.
By Marty Henwood (May 2010)
Snow in southern Alberta a few days before June? Whatever.

After all, given what Jamie Kureluk accomplished two days prior, Hades had already frozen over.

They’ll get springtime snow in Calgary again. Who knows, maybe tomorrow. But witnessing what Kureluk pulled off Tuesday?

Yeah, right.

A few years from now, very few will remember how Carnmoney Golf Club took yet another impromptu blast from Old Man Winter, forcing RBC Insurance Alberta Open officials to wipe out the last round with the final group already having made the turn. Nor will they recall that Kureluk, hanging on by two shots over three-time Alberta Open champion Wes Heffernan, didn’t have to worry about those final hole jitters. Instead, he could have accepted the championship trophy and did a few celebratory snow angels after being declared the winner by three.

No the talk, rightfully so, will always revolve around that first round where Kureluk recorded perhaps the most unbelievable nines in the history of golf.

Birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, eagle. That’s what Kureluk’s scorecard read Tuesday after he assaulted the 6834-yard track to the tune of an 11-under 25 on the back nine.

“I was just doing the same thing . . . it just started working,” Kureluk told the Calgary Herald after his unforgettable back-side stroll. “I’ve shot 62 a couple of times, but it was getting a little ridiculous on the back nine.”

Ridiculous? We’re guessing Kureluk was really biting his tongue to throw in another adjective or two with that.

“How is that even possible?” asked fellow Albertan Kris Wasylowich, currently taking his cuts on the Canadian Tour.

“Twenty-five. That’s ridiculous!”

See, there’s that word again.

Even more mind boggling, Kureluk was actually 12-under over his final ten holes, but a double-bogey, thanks to a four-putt from 35 feet, AND a bogey earlier in the day derailed any prayer for a 59 – or lower. A 61 will have to do. Boo hoo. Pass the tissues.

World, meet Jamie Kureluk, ex-Canadian Tour journeyman and current Cottonwood club pro, coming soon to a late-night talk show near you.

To put that 25 in perspective, Corey Pavin holds the PGA Tour nine-hole record with an 8-under 26 at the U.S. Bank Championship four years ago.

And, of course, Jason Bohn was 9-under after seven holes on his way to a 9-under 26 on the front nine – with a bogey – during the final round of the Canadian Tour’s 2001 Bayer Championship. Bohn, now a two-time PGA Tour champion, signed for a 13-under 58 that afternoon in Bright’s Grove, Ont.

There could be something in that Canadian water, considering how Mark Calcavecchia reeled off nine straight birdies last summer at the RBC Canadian Open to set an all-time PGA Tour record.

For Kureluk, who stopped playing on the Canadian Tour in 2006 to become an assistant pro, his days on the road were enjoyable if not exactly productive.

“The Canadian Tour when I was in my 20s was a lot of fun,” he said, “but it kind of got tough year after year finding the money to do it. I wasn’t making any money, I was losing money year after year and Greg Schubert offered me a job four years ago at Cottonwood.

“It’s a guaranteed paycheque,” he added.. “I can play around here and sharpen my skills.”
Seems that plan is working.

“Things are moving along,” he laughed.

Yes, at a rather dizzying pace. Ridiculous, even.
More articles by Marty Henwood
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